What is Interdisciplinary Psychology?

What is interdisciplinary psychology, and in what ways does it touch society today? This multi-pronged discipline is one that can help some of the deepest cases of psychological distress and difficulty. For those in need of its approaches, it truly can be a life-saver. For more information, let’s take a closer look at this important area of psychological expertise.

A Discipline Defined

To explain the meaning of the term, we can look to the meaning of the two words that compose the term and actually end up with a quite viable, basic understanding of it. Psychology firstly, is the “science of mind and behavior.” Next, the official Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “interdisciplinary” as a noun meaning “involving two or more academic, scientific, or artistic disciplines.”

In short, “interdisciplinary psychology” is therefore the use of several disciplines within the psychology field. Rather than singularly practicing general psychology, one may instead practice general psychology with an added emphasis or specialty in child psychology. Perhaps one works with more advanced psychological conditions such as schizophrenia or severe PTSD. This professional likely needs to be skilled in several disciplines including behavioral psychology and social psychology among others in order to properly treat and understand the depth and complexity yielded by these conditions.

Why is it Needed?

This all said, we can begin to see that there is a very real need for such multifaceted, interdisciplinary approaches in the field. Psychological issues are certainly a normal expectation throughout any population. All of these issues however are quite diverse, some rather simplistic, others notably more complex.

The more complex cases can often bridge divides between many disciplines within psychology and even other areas of medicine as well. The power of interdisciplinary ability allows for proper medical understandings and approaches to thus be administered in such cases that do not just involve one, singular area of study or expertise.

Examples at Work

To make the subject even clearer, we can take a quick look to some modern-day examples of this discipline of duality at work. A great place to start is with today’s child psychologist. A child psychologist is typically considered interdisciplinary simply because they must understand general psychology as well as child psychology.

In the treatment of their minor patients, they will likely need to understand and administer principles in child psychology and general psychology. Beyond these though, they might also need to be well-versed in social psychology, developmental psychology, and many others in addition. Armed with such far-reaching knowledge, the child psychologist is then prepared to work with nearly any patient and their individual needs.

Another example of interdisciplinary practice might be seen in the trauma psychologist. This kind of psychologist specializes in treating those suffering psychologically due to severe traumas they’ve experienced. This doctor will certainly need to be interdisciplinary in their approaches and knowledge in psychology. Branches of the science needed here may include general psychology, special and rare conditions, behavioral psychology, personality psychology, and many other branches as well.

Related Resource: What is a Community Psychologist?

The ability to be interdisciplinary here, makes the expert truly able to handle more than the simplest, most straight-forward cases. This area of psychology is therefore critical to the field and the countless served by it every day. These are the basics of interdisciplinary psychology as well as the breadth of its necessity and place in modern medicine.